Dress-up can be played physically, with normal clothes or costumes, or virtually through a variety of safe, kid-friendly websites. Both boys and girls can play dress-up games.
According to psychologists, dress-up fosters a child’s imagination by allowing for unscripted play. Creativity and games that use imagination foster both mental and physical development. Large blocks of time that involve creative play is helpful for developing motor skills and sensory exploration. Dressing up like somebody else also teaches a child how to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes, developing necessary social skills such as empathy.
Children can play dress-up with costumes or by wearing unique clothing combinations. Anything can be used to play, dependent on the child's personal imagination. Dress-up costumes are available at stores like Toys “R” Us. Play kitchen sets, miniature houses and other props are often used to help the imaginative process. Children are also known to try on their parents’ clothing, imitating grown-up behavior. Unexpected household items can also foster creativity. For example, a simple bath towel can be tied around the neck as a cape or a tool belt can be used as a holster.
There are also digital dress-up games for children on websites such as NickJr.com. These games are for boys and girls ages 2-6 and require Flash to play.